Why Most Businesses Fail in Achieving Their Goals
Some people love setting goals and others don’t. Either way, they are necessary in both business and life. Without them, you could end up anywhere, or worse, nowhere. And the same goes for having goals in place; set too many, or set the wrong ones, and you’ll find yourself feeling disappointed with the result.
I’m often asked by businesses to help set goals, align these goals with the bigger vision and mission and then assist to effectively execute these goals. It’s something I quickly learnt to do when I started my business a couple of years ago. I was tainted by the corporate style of goal setting. Which, in my experience was, set as many goals as possible so that no one knows what to focus on and we all combust with exhaustion in the process!
I’m generalising of course and I’m sure it’s not only corporates who take this style of approach. In fact, I’m sure a lot of you are guilty of goal setting in this way as well, whether you’re willing to admit it or not.
There is plenty of advice I can share, and topics to discuss when it comes to goal setting and effective execution. I think the best place to start is at the beginning; getting clear on what you want to achieve long term.
There is an art to goal setting, and while it appears quite simple, it’s not, which is why most businesses get it wrong. I believe failure to effectively set, execute and achieve goals is due to both a misunderstanding of how to set a great goal (spoiler alert, it’s so much more than using the SMART model), as well as a disconnect between the business vision and the goals.
We can set goals until we are blue in the face, however, if we haven’t defined our vision for the business, then how do we know what goals to set? How do we know what to say yes to and what to say no to? How do we know where to dedicate our time, money and energy? And most exciting of them all, how do we know when we’ve actually made it?
The simple answer is, we don’t.
If I was to ask you – what is the vision of your business – would you know? Would your staff know? Would it be clear, and are all your goals and actions in alignment with your vision?
My guess, is that your answer is no. If I’m wrong, then a huge congratulations to you. Rock on! Keep doing what you’re doing. It’s rare that I discover a business that is completely aligned and on-vision.
So why is being clear on, and in-alignment with, your vision so important? Because it helps you make better decisions about who to hire, what actions to take and how to spend vital resources. You get a sense of achievement because you know what success looks like and when you’ve reached it. You know when you’re flying on course, or off course.
When you know your vision, then setting goals becomes about navigating to that specific destination without any detours or distractions. Your goals should be about getting there most effectively, safely and nothing else.
So, consider your current goals and ask yourself, are they aligned to my vision? Do they navigate me towards my ideal destination? If the answer is no, or even if there is a hint of maybe, then scrap them and start again.
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